1. Build a critical mass of knowledge. You have to have a sound base from which ideas or thoughts will come. This base of knowledge has to be built before you are required to think fast.
2. Be prepared. If you are going to show (off) your speed of thought, you have to be prepared before the time of reckoning comes. This is different from building critical mass above. The preparation can be done by reviewing bodies of knowledge, or you could guess/think about what the potential questions may be and try to answer them quickly.
3. Practice thinking fast. The brain has to be trained to think fast. In Chess, this is accomplished by playing practice speed or blitz games. In real life, you can do this by reading very quickly, reviewing quickly, answering testlets quickly. Practice makes perfect. This is different from preparation above. Preparation is getting ready for something. Practice is just doing it to form a habit.
4. Be honest. It takes longer when you fake it than when you tell the truth. It is easier to rattle off something that you truly know than something that doesn’t exist. In addition to thinking fast you would have to create it if you are making it up.
5. Practice lateral thinking or getting out of the box. If you stick to old ways of thinking you may find that when you hit a mental block, you are not be able to get over it. The solution may be to go around or over it instead of through.
6. Commit to thinking fast. You have to commit yourself to thinking fast. It is an endeavor that requires discipline. You cannot do it some of the time. Or you wake up one morning and you decide to give it a shot and expect to do well. Commitment may require some life changes.
7. Time yourself. How long did it take you to solve a puzzle, to explain yourself, to solve a problem at work, or to complete a testlet in an exam? FAST has an element of time in it.
8. Use your experience. Analyze your thought process afterwards. This is similar to analyzing a Chess game that you recorded. From here you see some patterns that you can tweak accordingly.
9. YOU should DO IT! You cannot read any more. No more tips. No more wasting time. No more how-to’s.
10. Remember it’s only a game! I have noticed that it is easier for me to think more efficiently, more accurately, and clearer when I am relaxed. When I tell myself that it is just a Chess game. Life outside Chess is not different. Find something that can calm you down if stressing is blocking your thought process.
Bonus point: SMART fast thinking goals. SMART = Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely.